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Beehive Bulletin - 7 May 2004

Beehive Bulletin - 7 May 2004

Top News stories of the week

Foreshore legislation has its first reading

The Foreshore and Seabed Bill was introduced to Parliament this week and passed with a 65-55 majority. Introducing the bill, Deputy Prime Minister Michael Cullen said it delivered four square on the government's promise to protect public access and clarify ownership.

A number of changes have been since earlier proposals were released in December. The result is a clearer, more transparent and less bureaucratic framework that is well-balanced and will simultaneously guarantee access, recognise customary rights and interests, and manage effects on the environment.

Michael Cullen says the Bill will not satisfy everyone but goes a long way to addressing the concerns that have been raised. He hopes New Zealanders take the time to examine and discuss the Bill, and suggest improvements to the Select Committee.

Cullen and Horomia meet the hikoi

Deputy Prime Minister Michael Cullen and Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia led a group of Ministers and Government MPs who met this week's foreshore hikoi when it arrived at Parliament.

Parekura Horomia later told Parliament that although some people on the hikoi were hell-bent on being destructive, the majority conducted themselves well. He acknowledged their strong feelings but said he had spent a lot of his life trying to make sure Maori got the best shot and that was why he was supporting the foreshore and seabed legislation.

Parekura Horomia said Labour governments have always been there for Maori. During this term in office, 40,000 more Maori were in work, Maori unemployment had reached a 16-year low, almost 900 Maori were involved in Modern Apprenticeships and the government had delivered on Maori television.

New Support for Parents

Parents raising preschoolers will get more support from a new $10.8 million initiative launched by Social Development and Employment Minister Steve Maharey. The Strategies with Kids - Information for Parents (SKIP) campaign will work with community groups to provide resources and training for parents and caregivers of children up to five years old.

The new parental support programme has developed following extensive consultation with community groups. The government believes strongly that making an investment in the health and capability of our children today is vital for the wellbeing of New Zealanders tomorrow. Mr Maharey says SKIP will give parents practical advice and support on society's most important job

Best practice for heritage properties

Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Helen Clark has announced the introduction of a "best practice" approach to the management of heritage properties owned by government departments. Helen Clark says it's important that the government leads by example in the way it cares for its heritage.

Government departments have in their care a large number of heritage places and properties ranging from courthouses and police stations to archaeological sites. The Ministry for Culture and Heritage will be overseeing the development of a policy for the implementation of best practice by each department that holds heritage properties.

Mapua Deed signed

The 'deed of funding' between the Crown and Tasman District Council for the remediation of the former Fruitgrower's Chemical Company property at Mapua was signed this week. Environment Minister Marian Hobbs says that once remediation work is completed, New Zealand's worst contaminated site will become a safe local attraction.

The signing of the deed allows the full remediation of the site to start, with completion expected in 2006. Agreement was reached earlier this year between the Ministry for the Environment and Tasman District Council that 40 percent of the site will be set aside by the council for public open space.

ENDS

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